Bharti to open first retail store in March 2008

Bharti Retail, a unit of Bharti Enterprises, will kick off its operations in March next year by setting up its first small format retail store in North India while the cash and carry business in association with Wal-Mart will commence in the third quarter of next year.

“We will open our first store in March next year up North which will be a small format store. Other formats will also be opened to take care of consumers’ demand in other areas,” Bharti Enterprises Managing Director Rajan Bharti Mittal said on the sidelines of a Ficci event.

Mittal added that the company’s joint venture with Wal-Mart for cash and carry stores will start operations by the third quarter of next year.

He said the brand name for the retail venture has already been finalised. However, he declined to divulge the details saying “you name a kid when the kid is born”.

The company has already started hiring professionals to manage different formats of the trade and targets to employ around 16,000 people by 2012.

“We are picking up people from across industries and have also hired a person from outside India to manage one of the formats,” Mittal said.

On the retail side, Bharati Enterprises plans to open stores across three formats — small format convenience stores, superMarkets and hyperMarkets.

According to a Ficci-E&Y study on the retail sector released on Monday, the organised retail is set to grow to 30 billion dollar from 14 billion dollar in the next three years.

According to the report, the sector, which now accounts for a meagre 5 per cent of the total market worth 280 billion dollar, is projected to account for 30 per cent of the market size in the next 10 years

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